Welcome to my asylum for ideas and thoughts on movies, politics, culture, and all things Bruce Springsteen.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Philly in October...

Back after several days of frantically getting my school year started. Just a whirlwind of students, AP papers, barely-dressed teens, and lost freshmen. That's public high school for you. At any rate, my school year's off to a great start and I'm looking to developing my routine really soon!

The news is out: MoveOn.Org! has thrown several mini concert tours in October to drum up support for regime change at home. Bruce is playing five dates starting in Philadelphia on October 1st. People on multiple message boards and listserves are ranting and raving about this mini tour, so I thought that I'd join 'em.

I believe that the relationship between artist and audience is deeper than one of performer and viewer. As a lover of much art and music, what cuts to my soul is not what a singer or artist does or how she or he does it. It is the way I gaze deeply into the artist and his/her work and see myself for my contradictions, losses, victories, and dreams. Therefore, I support and follow artists who continue to reveal more of myself and how I fit into the world to me; The Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead unlocked the beauty of free-form rock and roll with the spirit of a utopian vision; Coltrane unleashed a whole new realm of musical consciousness onto me, whether he cried (Alabama), screamed (Ascension), or worshipped (Love Supreme); Hopper reflected the grit and complexity of an ignored urban society and showed how vibrant and alive a city is. Bruce's music has opened similar doors for me. The plight of the working poor, the pain of losing ones you love, being able to still stick your chest out and say your name with pride - these Whitmanesque messages of understanding people and things to their core - that message has moved me greatly. Now, people are whining that mixing music and politics creates alienation, it divides, it lowers the value of art, and it splits what normally art universally bonds. I say "bull!" to that. Supporting an artist for her vision is the true role of a lover of art, not dividing an individual into artist / person. Maybe I'm passionate and too much so about this, but there's a reason why I am not a fan of Ted Nugent; there's a reason that I can respect the talent of Tupac Shakur but will not listen; there's a reason why Charlie Daniels will probably not be the next concert I catch, and there's definitely a reason why I enjoy Bruce's music and continue to see what he has to say.
Pretty lame rant, but I'm awfully tired from spending four hours a night grading papers after a ten hour day of work. The brain's not fully functioning. Before I do blow a gasket, I would like to extend a truly humbled, gracious thank-you to everyone who supported Heather and I at her shower last Saturday. I truly see how family and friends (that cliched 'village') is so necessary and appreciated in raising a child with love and support. Again, I am truly humbled.